Core Courses

AGHL-490:  An Aging World   (Weinstein, 2/3 credits, spring)
We age individually, but populations also age. We will explore the primary cause(s) of population aging, the current state of aging in both the developed and developing worlds, and future prospects. The work will examine how population aging and socioeconomic factors interact and influence each other. Basic concepts and measures of epidemiology and demography will be introduced. The primary focus will be on health outcomes with a goal of documenting and understanding differentials attributable to socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity, and social support, networks, and connection.

AGHL-501:  Theories and Perspectives in Gerontology   (Saunders, 3 credits, Fall)
We now know more than ever about how to promote successful cognitive and physiological aging; so that people can be independent, fulfilled, and productive longer. This course will examine both the theory and research in social gerontology, including: (A) aging and the aged as affected by social organization, including such social institutions as (i) familial, (ii) economic, (iii) political, and (iv) health care; (B) organizational processes such as (i) social stratification; and (ii) living environments including community and housing. In these contexts, certain demographic, cross-cultural, social-psychological, and physiological aspects of aging will also be considered.

AGHL-502:  Research Methods  (Saunders, Jillson, 2 credits, Fall)

This course is designed to introduce students to the practice of research in aging and health.  This is both a principles course, in which mastery is obtained through class lectures, readings, discussions, and research groups regarding health research and evaluation and a skills course in which mastery is obtained through the development of research and evaluation proposals, the structured review of a peer-reviewed health research or evaluation article.  The course emphasizes the scientific method as a mode of inquiry applied to quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method research and evaluation. It considers particular issues related to aging health research, including the use and interpretation of secondary data; cultural, linguistic, socioeconomic and other considerations in study design, data collection instruments, study methods, and analysis and interpretation of data;  and ethical issues related to aging health research and evaluation.

AGHL-503:  The Biology of Health & Disease  (Tilan and Myers, 3 credits, Fall)
Science is generating new views of what it means to age; we know that the brain continues to be plastic and to benefit from experience throughout life, and that though genes matter, their effects can be modified by experience throughout life. This course will be a team-taught seminar exploring primary and secondary aging, genetic and environmental influences on aging and their interactions, cell senescence and death, and current and evolving areas of research.

AGHL-504:  Humanities and Ethics of Aging (Hanna, 2 credits, Spring)
This course will focus on basic ethical principles including autonomy, beneficence, non-malfeasance, and justice as related on aging case studies. It will also discuss informed consent, capacity, competence, and confidentiality. Students will have the opportunity to work through common practice situations in real life and clinical scenarios using the ethical principles learned. Students will also develop a greater understanding of the process of critical thinking and how it facilitates problem-solving in difficult ethical situations.

AGHL-505:  Psychology of Aging (Barsness, 2 credits, Spring)
This course will examine the nature and causes of the psychological changes that accompany human aging. Theories concerning the biological, social, and cultural influences on aging will be considered. The course will examine patterns of change and stability over the adult years. We will ask whether the changes that occur are inevitable and irreversible. Particular emphasis will be placed on the changes in mental life that accompany advancing age, both as viewed from without by observers (including researchers) and from within by aging individuals themselves (in autobiographical accounts). The course will emphasize the ways in which people compensate for the losses that come with added years (including the general slowing of mental and motor processes, and the deaths of loved ones) by taking advantage of the gains (including accumulated wisdom and perspective, and additional leisure time).

AGHL-507:  Aging Policy   (McMullen, 3 credits)
This course is designed to give students an overview of the history, background, and current state of policies that impact the lives of older adults as a population and individually. The course exposes students to major federal policies and programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the Older Americans Act, and the Elder Justice Act. Students will also be provided background on policy analysis and will be given the opportunity to analyze a policy of their choice using the analysis-related tools learned during this course.

HAPI-660:  Health Economics   (Friedland, 2 credits)
This course uses the principles of economics to study the allocation of resources used to provide health and long-term care. Market inadequacies and market failures that have affected the financing, organization, and delivery of care are examined. The impact of private and public insurance programs on the organization and delivery of health care are analyzed, and the relationships between politics, policies, and health care markets are explored. Basic economics principles are taught and applied to the study of health care.


AGHL-601: Senior Living Operations Management (Carle, 3 credits, Fall) 

This course will provide an overview of the SL industry examining its political and regulatory environment and department-by-department instruction in the day-to-day management of a professionally managed SL community, including industry best practices, operational benchmarks, resident relations, employee relations, the effective delivery of resident care, hospitality, and ancillary services, and applications of new models of care and technology within SL environments.

AGHL-602: Senior Living Sales & Marketing (Carle, 3 credits, Spring) 

As a 90% private pay industry, this course will provide instruction in the professional management of sales and marketing services in a SL community, including development of an annual marketing budget; lead generation through referral development, public relations, and advertising; lead classification, categorization, and management; and the application of industry standards for the ethical practice of sales and marketing in SL environments.

AGHL-607: SLA Internship / Capstone (Carle, 4 credits, Summer)

This course will provide students with onsite experience and exposure to a Senior Living environment, under the supervision of a qualified preceptor and a mentor from the Aging & Health faculty.  Students will rotate through and complete shadowing and/or hands-on assignments across all community functions, and submit weekly Field Activity Reports (FARs) detailing experience and application of required learning objectives for the Senior Living Administration concentration and overall Aging & Health Program coursework.  In addition, students will complete a report addressing a specific need of the site, including problem identification, options to address, development and completion of an action plan, and outcomes.

PPOL 615 – Public-Private Partnerships (Fall, 3 credits)

Public-private partnerships are an increasingly common strategy to address important public problems, both domestically and internationally. This course is a comprehensive overview and examination of these partnerships and their implications for public policy and nonprofit and public management. In particular, the course will examine the diverse array of partnerships in the US and abroad and analyze the management challenges and opportunities involved in the development and implementation of different partnership strategies. In addition, the course will identify and discuss the key characteristics of successful partnership strategies. Specific cases of partnerships in the US and in other countries will be used to illustrate key concepts and issues in the class. These cases include multi-sectoral partnerships and government partnerships with nonprofit and for-profit organizations in a wide variety of policy areas including social services, health care, infrastructure, parks, international development, and community regeneration. The cases will also be used as a basis for class discussion. Assignments include memos on the assigned cases and a semester-long project on a public-private partnership. Professor Smith.

PPOL 617 – Prog & Policies: US Labor Market (Spring, 3 Credits)

This course will review policies designed to affect employment outcomes in the U.S. Topics will include minimum wage and overtime laws, job training, career, and technical education, community college, unemployment insurance, immigration policies, equal opportunity laws and Affirmative Action, and occupational safety and health regulation.

HESY 594 – Global Health and Law (Fall, 2 Credits)

This class focuses on the application of global health legal and policy principles and international organizations to discrete global health challenges. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of principles of global health law and policy through intensive examination and role-play of one or more major problems in global health. Potential problems could include a naturally occurring infectious disease epidemic; an intentional introduction of a lethal pathogen; the response to large-scale food contamination, among other options. 

This course will meet simultaneously with a law school class to promote interdisciplinary learning. While law students are expected to have a basic level of understanding of global health law, undergraduates are not. Rather, graduate students from the main and medical campuses, as well as undergraduates, are expected to have an understanding of global public health strategies or U.S. health policy that law students often will not have. When studying and role playing these kinds of problems, students will be asked to construct innovative methods of global health governance, drawing upon existing international health law and institutions, along with a vision for more ideal models. 

This course will also examine how reimbursement or payment policies have been used to affect the organization and delivery of health care in general, improve the quality of care, and attempt to ensure that resources are expended efficiently and effectively.

Students who take this course should be in a stronger position to help develop reimbursement methods for payers, negotiate or lobby for changes in existing reimbursement methods on behalf of providers, or advocate for the use of coverage and reimbursement policies to help alter the organization and delivery of medical care.

AGHL-510:  Internship/Capstone   (Saunders, 4 credits)

HESY-634:  Operations Management    (Lightfoot, 2 credits, Spring)
This course explores the broad strategic context and resulting implications of the changing health care landscape and the critical success factors that will be required to lead health care operations in organizations that are focused on value – highest quality and service at the lowest cost. It will emphasize the importance of tools and approaches that drive higher efficiency and effectiveness and will provide practical personal reflections on the critical skills and competencies that will differentiate health care executives who are in operational leadership roles. Following an examination of the five pillars of health are operations – people, quality, service, finance and growth – the course will provide real-world insight into performance improvement and operations management approaches that have been successful in addressing waste and inefficiency in health care settings.  

HESY-639:  Financial Management I    (Huang , 2 credits, Fall)
This course focuses on the principles of accounting and financial management that can be applied to contemporary health care systems. The goal of the course is to provide a theoretical and practical review of principles of healthcare and financial management. This course provides students with the tools to analyze financial statements and to use accounting information for managerial decision-making. This course will include a special session specifically focused on aging issues as needed.

HESY 629 – Organizational Leadership (Cobbs, 2 credits, Fall)

This course presents a comprehensive, integrative, and practical focus on leadership and management. It is based on a framework that analyzes leadership and management at the individual, team, and organizational levels, emphasizing the importance to organizational success of self-awareness, team dynamics, and the understanding of organizational culture and change. This course explores how leadership theories are best put into practice in various health system models and provides opportunities to apply these theories through case analysis and experiential learning. Also included in the course are perspectives on stakeholder management, coaching, diversity, learning organizations, and strategic planning. The course examines moral/ethical dimensions of leadership with the assumption that effective leadership includes service to others as well as personal qualities such as authenticity and integrity.

Elective Examples

AGHL-500:  Aging in Place  (Pamela A. Saunders, Gail Kohn, 2-3 credits)
From boomers to the oldest old, surveys of older adults show that most want to remain as independent as possible, at home rather than in an institutional setting. And, as the Affordable Care Act shows, policy makers are increasingly recognizing the importance of community-based options as an economical and effective means of providing long-term care. This course provides an overview of the emerging issues of aging in place, the benefits and challenges, with a focus on the role of the social service practitioner. Students will gain a broad understanding and practical skills, including how to find a balance between safety and independence for the older adult in the community.

MHUM 450 – Aging and Ageism (Pamela A. Saunders, Ann Oldenburg, 1 credit)

By 2025, one in every five Americans will be 65 or older, as the Baby Boomer generation takes over the top of the aging population pyramid. The impact is emerging in areas ranging from housing to healthcare. COVID has brought these issues to light even more. In this seminar, we’ll explore how society views aging, and we’ll consider how to bring about change. What’s the role of media — from old-fashioned television shows to new social media formats and outlets – in shaping our world view? How is the longevity market tapping into and serving the older population? How have our public health policies helped/hindered our elders? How can we foster a culture of respect for our elders, as other cultures have?

AGHL-000:  Cognitive Aging (Pamela A. Saunders, 2 credits)
This course is a comprehensive overview of various conceptual and methodological approaches to studying the cognitive neuroscience of aging. The course will emphasize the importance of combining information from cognitive experimental designs, epidemiologic studies, neuroimaging, and clinical neuropsychological approaches to understand individual differences in both healthy and pathological aging.

PPOL-671:  Population Change, Prospects and Challenges    (Weinstein, 3 credits)
This course is designed to provide a broad overview of the field of population studies. It will provide an introduction to basic methods of demographic analysis and explore social science perspectives on population-related issues. It explores past and current trends in the growth of the population of the world and of selected regions; components of population change and their determinants; and the social and economic “causes and consequences” of population change.